July 23, 2018 | An article by Professor Douglas W. Kmiec, U.S. Ambassador (Ret.), titled “After Helsinki, can the president be put on administrative leave?” has been published in The Hill. The article examines the possibility of pursuing a form of presidential administrative leave, the path by which businesses and governments secure the status quo while investigating possible corporate or public wrongdoing.
Excerpt from “After Helsinki, can the president by put on administrative leave?”:
There is no equivalent administrative leave mechanism for presidents. The 25th Amendment allows for substitution of the vice president as acting president when a president cannot discharge his duties. While the amendment’s language seems to contemplate any disability, its usage since passage in the late 1960s has been confined to physical limitations. It would not be constitutionally prudent to test its limits in the extraordinary context where the president’s words and actions have cast doubt upon his national loyalties.
Nevertheless, a form of administrative leave could be achieved by other means — but it would necessarily require a level of bipartisanship seemingly consigned to earlier generations. Specifically, with bipartisan agreement, it is possible to contemplate delaying legislative action on President Trump’s nominations, executive orders or legislative initiatives for the duration of the leave.
The complete article may be found here